Sunday, June 21, 2009

All in a days work ..

Twice in one day I have received a request to respond to comments on a blog where I am not allowed to post. Here is a second situation. I was asked to comment on the thread of this post on compegal. I wrote,


I am afraid that I cannot read all of the comments here. However, let me address a couple,

Eric wrote,

    FWIW, there are no instances of hupotassomai in the Greek New Testament. (There are instances of hupotassô with other middle and/or passive endings, but no instances of hupotassô in the present middle/passive indicative 1st-person singular – i.e., the -mai ending.)

This disregards the fact that Greek scholars typically treat the middle/passive as distinct from the active forms and do, in fact, refer to the verb hupotassomai. In fact, in a recent thread on Mike Aubrey’s blog, Carl Conrad made the point that mid/passive verbs should have their own entry in lexicons.

Eric wrote,

    From what I understand, there are very few true middles in the NT; i.e., if a verb has a middle/passive form, it is most likely a passive, though not always.

A cursory glance at Carl Conrad’s article, linked to by Eric, will verify that Carl believes that many verbs which have been translated as passives could be middle in voice. He writes,

    While a “head-count” of verb-forms in either morphoparadigm in a particular literary corpus might well show that a majority of the verb-forms bear passive meaning, I personally doubt this very much and I would argue that Greek-speakers (at least in the Hellenistic and Roman Koine periods) felt that either one of these paradigms was inclusive enough to cover the range from intransitive to middle to passive semantics).
In fact, I believe the focus is wrongly put onto the verb hupotassomai in the first place. The issue is whether the other person has authority. In Eph. 5:21, no authority is mentioned, in Luke 10 authority is an important issue. The verb hupotassomai does not give us the relevant information regarding authority.

Note: I'll include the link to Mike's post when I find it.


Mike Aubrey said...

Can I help, which post are you looking for one of the dozens on this passage or the post on voice?

Suzanne McCarthy said...


I don't personally want to revisit the question of Eph. 5 right now.

However, I was intrigued by Carl Conrad saying that he thought that there should be separate lexicon entries for the middle/passive forms of verbs. Or do I misremember? It must be in a post on voice.

Mike Aubrey said...

I didn't think so. And I understand. Completely. I began writing a comment on the compegal post, but then stopped part way through and though, I just can't get into this again. I'm so tired of it.

Here are two posts on voice though related to this discussion:

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Yes, those were the posts that I was thinking about, especially the first one. It is good to go back now and reread the discussion on the middle voice.

I do think that Carl's article on this is interesting and I am grateful to Eric for drawing attention to it.

Carl W. Conrad said...

I would just note that the above-cited PDF article is somewhat outdated; a compendium of my latest thinking about "middle" verbs is at

Lydia said...

"Twice in one day I have received a request to respond to comments on a blog where I am not allowed to post"

Why ever not?

Wayne Leman said...

a blog where I am not allowed to post

Suzanne, for the record, you, like everyone else, are allowed to post on the Complegalitarian blog. We have had to do some moderating of comments on that blog, but everyone is still most welcome to post. We appreciate your posts there. You are definitely not blocked from posting there, nor on any blog with which I am associated.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Yes, I am blocked completely on two other blogs. But for compegal, this statement is not exact.

On complegatitarian and the BBB I am among two or possibly three people who are moderated. This typically means that my comment would appear in its time slot sometime after 10 to 20 other comments follow it. My comments at the time that I left were simply lost and no explanation for this was given to me.

I did not understand for several months that no one else was moderated. I assumed that all my comments were being held back until the conversation was over and I could not participate.

I would like to see moderated blogs advertise whether everyone is moderated, no one is moderated, or only select people are moderated. That would clarify things a little. This was not made clear to me at the time.

Essentially, in a popular thread, being moderated means the same thing as being blocked. There is little effective difference.